Ballarat trainer Darren Weir has confirmed his in-form galloper Prince Of Penzance will race again this Saturday on the seven day back-up in the 2014 Zipping Classic at Sandown Racecourse.
The Pentire five-year-old is one of the headline hopefuls for this weekend’s $350,000 Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m), one of two Group 2 features on the final Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival meeting.
Prince Of Penzance has won six of his 17 starts to date, most notably beating home Le Roi by 1.3 lengths in a strong last-to-first effort in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) on October 25.
He raced again last weekend in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington, this time Le Roi turning the tables to win by a quarter length in a repeat but reversed MV Cup quinella.
Now Weir is eager for his five-year-old to return to the winner’s stall and see out the season with another Group success, the Zipping Classic his last chance to post points before a spell.
Weir is confident he can handle the short turnaround and his confidence will be boosted further with a bit of give in the ground at Sandown after the horse found the Good (3) at Flemington a bit firm.
“I’d say this bloke will go to Sandown and I wouldn’t mind just a little bit of chop in the ground,” he told Racenet.
“I think the ground (at Flemington) was a bit too hard for him, he’s one of those horses that needs the edge taken off to show his best and he didn’t get that.”
While Prince Of Penzance’s record shows he’s raced twice in nine days just once before, when backing up from a Ballarat win in April last year to finish a nose away second in his big city debut at Caulfield, Weir believes his pedigree will come through this time.
“He’s Kiwi bred and most of them seem to like racing on the back-up. I guess there’s only one way to find out,” he said.
Formerly known as the Sandown Classic, Saturday’s Zipping Classic was renamed to honour four time winner Zipping (2007-10) who was prepared by Robert Hickmott and owned by Lloyd Williams.
This year Hickmott and Williams are expected to saddle-up a two-pronged attack on a race they’ve owned over the past decade.
Their best chance will lie in last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner, the son of Reset looking to atone for a 10th in the Melbourne Cup last time out after getting swamped inside and out in the closing stages of the race won by German stayer Protectionist.
Williams’ 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon meanwhile missed this year’s race with a virus but is expected to return for a final spring run in the weight-for-age Zipping Classic.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for the full Zipping Classic 2014 nominations to be published shortly.
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